The Optimal Live Chat Setup: Raising Website Conversion

Businesses that implement Live Chat generally do so for one of the following three reasons:

  • Raise Website Conversion
  • Raise Customer Satisfaction
  • Lower service costs

Although these points are connected (happy visitors tend to buy more, for example), live chat software has particular features for each Goal. In the coming 3 posts we'll highlight the optimal features and setup for each of these goals. Today we'll start off with Goal #1: Raising Website Conversion.

What the Numbers Tell Us...

Most online stores experience visible improvements of their conversion rates after implementing live chat. reported a conversion rate increase above 20%. A study by Forrester Research on the implementation of live chat at Wells Fargo stated a 2-digit increase in conversion.

In a case study of Servershop24 the behavioural values of visitors that engaged in a live chat conversation were compared with those that did not engage. It was found that the conversion rate was 2-5 times higher for live chat users than for non-live chat users. Also, live chat users spent on average 3 times longer and visited 2 times as many pages on the website per visit, and they were 25% more likely to return than non-live chat users.

So it is generally agreed that live chat can have a strong and positive effect on conversion. However, for live chat to have such an impact it must be set up in the right way. Let's take a look at the features we have in place to make you reach your targets.

I. Optimal Conversion Setup

Product and Checkout Pages

The pages with the highest impact on conversion rates are without a doubt the Product Page and the Checkout Page. The Checkout Page is generally the first place businesses implement a live chat widget on because of the high shopping cart abandonment rates. This is a valid reason: Live Chat can be used to pull across potential buyers that are experiencing last minute questions, doubts or problems. Operators of Checkout implementations should be very knowledgeable about your company's procedures.

Product Page implementations are used for more active selling and upselling. It can be blissful to have a support option that can answer all your questions about a product or a group of products. Operators of Product Page implementations should have a deep understanding of the products they are selling, being able to tailor their offering to the needs of the visitor.

Button Visibility

Crucial for whichever of the three goals you are pursuing, the Chat Button should be clearly visible. Many people make the mistake of picking a button colour that is the same as the theme colour of their website, making it "blend in nicely". This will however reduce its visibility, risking visitors looking for answers to miss your support option. The Chat Button should of course look pretty on your website, and it is possible to combine this with visibility by using Complementary Colours. Furthermore, extensive testing shows that a bottom right implementation has the highest interaction rate.

II. Powerful Conversion Features

Proactive Chat

One of the most powerful conversion boosting features of Live Chat is the Proactive Invite. With this feature enabled, the Chat Window opens up to visitors automatically after a specified time they have spent on the website/page. For example, if the average time on the checkout page is 1,5 minutes, you can set your proactive time trigger to open after 2 minutes in order to offer help to the outliers that might be experiencing some issues or doubts. Our Chat Software only opens up once to a web visitor per browser session, preventing feelings of being Spammed from arising.

Remote API

This part of our open API allows you to set up more advanced proactive behaviour based on visitor behaviour. For example, you can set the chat to open up after the visitor returns to the same page for the third time (as this could indicate disorientation). Or you could set the chat to open when the visitor has reached a certain amount of value in his or her shopping cart. For this latter option you would also have to make use of our Javascript API.

Javascript API

This part of our Open API allows you to infer your own data into your Live Chat system. For example, the reference information in the Chat Panel could show the contents of the visitor's shopping cart. On the one hand this data can be used to set up proactive chat triggers in concordance with the Remote API, on the other hand your Chat Operators can use this information to actively upsell related products (e.g. a digital surround stereo system added to a 42 inch LCD screen.

Social Media Integration

This feature allows you to connect your live chat system with your social media accounts (Facebook or Twitter). The conversion boosting effect of this feature comes from the fact that your visitor will be frequently reminded of your brand by following or liking your social accounts after a chat. Relevant products or offers will send him back to your website.

III. Measuring Live Chat Conversion

Now that you've enabled all conversion-boosting features, it is time to track to what extent your Live Chat is contributing to increased conversions.


The first step is for you to set up the goals in your live chat dashboard. Userlike offers a feature through which you can set up certain URL's as Goals. When a visitor reaches this URL during a chat, the Chat Transcript indicates that this specific goal was reached. An obvious Goal to set up would be the URL that coincides with the Checkout Completion.

Google Analytics

It is also worthwhile to connect your live chat with your tracking system, for example Google Analytics. This case study by Servershop24 will give you some good ideas about the events to track.

A/B Testing

Finally to make an objective judgement of the conversion impact of live chat on your website, you should make use of A/B testing. This goes outside the scope of this article, but here are some good resources to help you get started:

KissMetrics Introduction
HubSpot A/B Testing Book
Smashing Magazine Ultimate A/B Testing Guide